Comment Poll: Digi Downloads

We want to know a bit about your digital download habits, like whether you’ve bought a game via digital download in the past year, and how many you’ve bought. If you want to tell us, then hit the polls after the jump and click truthwards.







  1. Hypocee says:

    Uh…we don’t have VAT? Or any federal sales tax. The IRS asks you to volunteer a cut on any interstate (i.e. Internet) purchases on the honour system.

    Again, that was just me thinking with my fingers. If it means going through TOR and building a new Steam ID every week because I’m violating ToS, that ain’t happening. I’m still at work and can’t investigate the Valvewrath situation right now.

  2. mist says:

    I bought 9 games from Steam (although quite a lot of them at the 5-10 dollar price point), and Kings Bounty from Gamersgate (after reading your reviews of it).

  3. Goomich says:

    It’s added after.

  4. kitchendon says:

    Ever game I bought in the last year was via a Digital Download. Steam is amazing. It is the gold standard that similar services should hope to emulate. EA’s download service is horrible, especially because you have to pay extra to be able to re-download the game after several months. I also used Good Old Games to grab a couple of classics via download.

    I don’t see myself buying boxed games at all in the future – unless I have no choice. I much prefer the convenience and instant gratification of downloading the title at home. Plus, I have limited access to games via retail since I live at the intersection of No and Where.

    With Steam there is also the added bonus of not worrying about ruining or losing the original disk.

  5. Rich_P says:

    Do new PC games even come in boxes? Last time I was at Best Buy, both L4D and RA3 had Xbox game-style DVD sleeves and that’s it. So unless you go for the collector’s edition boxes (which are now the size of what used to be regular boxes), what’s the point?

    I would still buy retail if PC games came in huge 1990s-esque boxes, though :D

  6. Corion says:

    What are US residents supposed to do for question 3?

    Do I convert $ to £? Do I look up the ridiculous £ prices? Help us out here – can you edit the poll/post without screwing things up? Maybe I should just not answer…

  7. RabidZombie says:

    Lets be honest. I have a love hate relationship with Steam.
    I love Steam for being so easy to buy from.
    I hate Steam for being so easy to buy from…

  8. bobince says:

    3, two of which were World of Goo (one a gift). Will certainly buy more downloadables in the future, but only, as before, direct DRM-free EXE downloads.

    My only experience of Steam is trying to fix other people’s duff Steam installations so that they can manage to actually play the games they’ve paid good money for. Getting PC games to work is a dodgy enough proposition these days without having to worry about a DRM/download/install platform breaking as well. Dunno why you lot all seem to like it so much but I’m not gonna touch it with a barge pole.

  9. Tworak says:

    Bought 15+ games digitally and 4 regular old-fashioned ways, 3 of those MMOs. *shrug*

  10. Hypocee says:

    I just divided $ by about 2…shrug.

  11. Octaeder says:

    @ RabidZombie

    I can relate to that. It’s the weekend sale that gets me usually. Of the 25 or so games I bought off Steam this year I think only Orange Box, Trials 2 and Uplink/Darwinia Pack were full price.

  12. Clovis says:

    Histograms FTW PLS!

  13. Down Rodeo says:

    I spent too much. I think I might even have placed myself in the wrong category… I might need to be in the top :(

    As regards the ‘n’s I think it is part of a subtle ploy to subconsciously change our answers to “no” to prove that PC gaming is dead, even with DD. Obviously.

    Seriously though, good idea. Even a rough estimate among (fairly PC oriented, online-savvy) gamers is a good thing.

  14. Fumarole says:

    I’ve spent over $450 on Steam in the last twelve months or so. This trend does not look to be changing any time soon.

  15. Fumarole says:

    For those up above who cannot do conversion, Google is your friend:

    link to

  16. Fumarole says:

    Woe is me, that link is borked. Just type n dollars in pounds to have Google convert it for you.

    Sorry for the trip-post.

  17. Panther says:

    Bought about a dozen from Good old Games. Would heartily recommend it to anyone.

  18. Larington says:

    (Cough) link to (Cough)
    I normally use the XE one, interface is nice and straightforward.

  19. Cooper42 says:

    I used to get downloads very rarely, but have come over to the idea more recently.

    Even so, if a game is available retail, that’s usually what I’ll get – as internet retailers regularly provide cheaper deals.

    The rise in digital downloads for me the past few years are the indie games. WoG, Aquaria, etc. are only available downloaded. I got L4D downloaded, but only because of the demo advance deal.

    Also, yes, RPS do influence my gaming habits. WoG was entirely due to the glowing recommendations here…

  20. Paul Moloney says:

    For some reason, only the first question (Yes/No) is answerable in my browser; the remaining questions don’t allow me to specify a value. I’m using IE7 on Vista.


  21. Hypocee says:

    I thunk it’s more a question of apples-to-apples than people not being able to multiply, guys.

  22. Tim says:

    At least half of the money I spent on games last year went to digital downloads.

  23. Mil says:

    I’ll admit I’m paranoid, but I always get a bad vibe when someone wants to know how much they have influenced my opinion.

  24. Nero says:

    I haven’t bought many big games mostly because I haven’t found many games worth buying (also no job). The one game that I bought because of seeing it here was Ancient Quest of Saqqarah, I hadn’t heard of it before and it has given me plenty of casual game time.

  25. frymaster says:

    “I used to be wary of digital purchases, but now its almost an impulse buy. Spending money is too easy”

    Indeed. I didn’t realise exactly how much I’d spent until I totalled it up :(

  26. A-Scale says:

    Does piracy count as a DD? I kid, I kid. I bought WoG and FO3 on Steam during their big recent sale. I also bought L4D. Oh, and two iPhone games, though I don’t think they count in this discussion.

  27. Kadayi says:

    Over the £300 and most of it on Digital (that’s how I prefer it), though with Play being so competitive in their pricing of late I’ve made a few more retail purchases than I ordinarily would of.

    Certainly with the digital side of things I’m big on buying up older games, or games I already own but would rather have on Steam when they reach a suitable price point. The Steam weekends/January Sale is always a draw as well, esp for back catalogue games.

  28. deerhaunter says:

    Wouldn’t have known WoG and Trials 2 even existed, let alone bought them if it wasn’t for you guys.

  29. TheApologist says:

    Ah…King’s Bounty and World of Goo are mine all because of RPS, and happen to be my two favourites of 2008!

    Go you guys.

  30. TheApologist says:

    Oh, and Trackmania…

  31. Mo says:

    Interesting things to note:
    I voted 4+ games, but that only makes up 20% of my purchases.

    I’m more than happy to buy digitally, but I prefer a boxed copy if I can get one. So world of goo I’m fine with buying but if there was a retail box day1 I’d probably have gone with that. Also, a good deal of my digital purchases have been on the excellent xbla.

  32. Wazzle says:

    Well, in the poll I claimed to have spent 150-200 (it says pounds, but I’m in America, so it’s closer to $150), but thinking about it now I actually got a lot of games via physical DVD/CD. STALKER, UT3, BF2, L4D… I also bought The Orange Box DVD, but my drive wouldn’t recognize the disc, and I downloaded the games off of Steam, so does that count?

    But yeah, Steam’s digital distribution kicks ass… 98¢ for Half-Life? A free racer? There’s even a way to get HL2 Deathmatch for free! Yes, please!

  33. Tims says:

    Data! yes! need more data porn!

  34. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    “Corion says:

    What are US residents supposed to do for question 3?”

    Or the c.190 countries in the world who aren’t from the UK or US, for that matter ;)! Just convert it, innit.

  35. Aftershock says:

    You and your stupid “pounds”

    Get a real currency.

  36. Katsumoto says:

    … *this is broken*

    edit: Ok, now it’s working.
    *c.190 countries in the world which aren’t the UK or US
    @ aftershock? Real currency, eh? Sounds good! Give us some examples :) I just made 50 gold on the auction house. Now that’s a real currency.

  37. Sagan says:

    I’m in the £300+ category mostly due to the how low the pound is right now. I probably spent just a little over 300€ this year on games, (not counting hardware) which used to be around 200£.

    The one game I bought only because of a recommendation from you guys was World of Goo.
    And you or some blogger/article you linked to pushed me over the edge on Far Cry 2, Tomb Raider Underworld and Mirror’s Edge. None of which I would have been interested in from the reviews alone.

    Generally I still prefer buying a DVD. It makes it easier to share with friends and family, which I do a lot. If I know that I won’t / can’t share a game, I just buy digitally.

  38. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    NICE! 1337 votes for ‘ Did you buy a game via digital download in the last 12 months?'(got it screencapped). I like the random n, by the way, I think its quite stylish.

  39. Joe says:

    I began the year buying mostly retail games, but because I now have multiple computers I game on (Room, Living room, Work), I find myself wishing I had bought digitally. However, I like all my games in one place, so if it’s not digital on Steam, I buy retail.

    These days, I buy through Steam whenever possible, and when Steam Cloud gets expanded to save games, it’ll be even more of a draw.

  40. Dazza says:

    Like some others I bought games due to the sale on Steam. I got three games for less than the shop price of one. For that I can forgo the box. I probably wouldn’t have bought any if it wasn’t for the sale.

  41. Kong says:

    Being an archaic hunter/collector character digital downloads do not give me the satisfaction that unwrapping a new toy does. I want a box with good things inside.

  42. jalf says:

    I bought Mass Effect on steam during the 4 hours when they accidentally switched back to US pricing (got it for $38, quite a bit better than the €50 they charge normally). Other than that, I think I bought 3 or 4 Portals and a BG&E as gifts during the holiday sale. Other than that, it’s been ages since I bought anything from Steam. Their prices just aren’t worth it usually.

  43. Robert says:

    I’m quite proud of my 77 steam games

  44. Nero says:

    I just checked my Steam history and I didn’t realize that I’ve bought 36 (10 of those was included in the Rockstar collection) and the total was almost exactly $400, so that was a lot of smaller games and during sales. I think I’ve only bought L4D and Orange Box for full prices on Steam (I’ve bought indie games at their full prices though) because most regular priced games are just too expensive.

  45. Flerndip says:

    My digital download purchases are 100% Steam, because I know that if my PC dies, I won’t lose my game. I can always re-download it. I have confidence that my Steam purchases are safe, and that Valve will ensure that they are available when I need them.

    I just don’t have the same confidence in other DD distributors. Should I?

  46. x25killa says:

    I get my digi downloads from Steam, Playgreenhouse and 2dboy.

  47. Pie21 says:

    I’m a Steam tragic – I don’t believe in boxes anymore. This is mostly because the Steam prices are around 30-50% less than the retail versions in Australia, and that’s without taking the occasional ridiculous sales into account.

    That said I don’t really buy much either, but it all comes from Steam. Last year I bought Left 4 Dead as the #1 pick, but went a little crazy over Christmas, picking up World Of Goo, Psychonauts, Darwinia, Multiwinia, DOOM, DOOM2, and Trials 2 for US$50, the price of a cheap Australian retail game. Perhaps one that’s been out for half a year now.

    I grabbed all the X-COM’s for $5 last weekend too, because it was too good a deal to resist :D The main strength of online distribution is that the prices really get in your face and make you notice them when they’re cheap, while there could be a special on in a retail store and I wouldn’t have a clue.

  48. Will Tomas says:

    I’m old school in most ways – I like having the physical box and getting it cheap off Amazon – but I did buy Audiosurf, Trials 2 and World of Goo (wiiware) digitally because of RPS’s recommendation – although with all bar world of goo I did wait until they were on offer.

    Actually if anything GOG has made me buy stuff via digital download more than anything: being able to get those games I heard about at the time but was too poor/had too rubbish a computer to play means that I’ve indulged myself a little with Fallout, Fallout 2, Giants, Sacrifice, Freespace 2, and TOCA 3, which is more “proper” games I’ve bought digitally than anything else before.

  49. jalf says:

    I’m a Steam tragic – I don’t believe in boxes anymore. This is mostly because the Steam prices are around 30-50% less than the retail versions in Australia, and that’s without taking the occasional ridiculous sales into account.

    Enjoy it while it lasts. They’re probably gearing up to offer you “localized prices” too.

  50. Saul says:

    All Steam, all the time. I only played Valve games last year, anyway, apart from Audiosurf and World of Goo. Thanks to RPS for the heads up on those!